Super Mario 3D World is one of the most delightful games I’ve ever played, I can’t believe I waited so long to play it.
I’m not really good at Mario games. I just struggle with some platforming games for some reason. I’m much better with games like Crash Bandicoot, Spyro and Guacamelee. However I had so much fun playing 3D World! This is one of the few Mario games I actually completed, and enjoyed every single level. I love the way this game takes typical Mario 2D levels and shakes up the formula by shifting the traditional mechanics into 3D.
Story Obviously Mario games aren’t known for their story. Bowser captures some pixy things and you have to free them at the end of each world. So I won’t get into the story, however I will mention how great the boss battles are, at least the first time around. Every time I first encountered a boss fight, I loved it. I thought the designs were unique the level designs were great. However, about halfway through the game, the developers must of run out of ideas as every boss fight was repeated later in the game. Usually this is fine but they didn’t even change up the fights that much. I also found about half the boss fights were really easy and I completed them in about 15 seconds. I did love the boss fights like I said, but only the first time around. The last boss fight is great though, my heart was in my mouth the entire level, and took me many attempts to beat.
Gameplay Gameplay for 3D world borrows a lot from previous Mario games. However I really feel that Mario feels the best in this game. My main issue with the new 2D games is that Mario feels slow and floaty in them, but here he feels snappy and accurate. He can start running straight away and his jumps feel fluid. Add it all together and the whole game feels precise. The power ups are great additions here too. Yes there’s the standard fire power up and magic star, but the newly added cat suit is great fun to use. I loved using all the different powers to access new areas and collect the green stars and stamps. The level design in 3D world is superb! Every single level felt different and memorable. Yes there are elements that are repeated in some later levels, but they still manage to make everything feel unique. This has easily got to be my favourite Mario gameplay that I’ve played.
Visuals Of course the visuals in 3D World are great! Nintendo really know how to make a pretty game on their consoles. 3D World really jumps off the screen with its super vibrant colours. Not only do all the levels look great, but they also have unique settings. The carnival/circus themed worlds were my favourite, but there were water levels, fire levels, space levels and many more themes. But wait there’s more! 3D World actually uses its visuals to help the player solve puzzles! A few levels will use silhouette or reflections to hint where the green stars are located. Even the Captain Toad levels are all based on using the visual environment to help solve puzzles. I also have to mention just how perfect the sound design is. From the first menu, I just knew all the sounds in this game were going to be amazing. The soundtrack really adds to every level, and the sound effects are spot on.
Collectibles I found the collectibles in 3D world useful for once, but also a little overwhelming. I’m never the biggest fan of collectibles, I don’t mind ones that change the game or give you upgrades, but collecting items just for the sake of it gets on my nerves. Therefore I found the collectible stamps in this game completely useless. Do they even do anything? Or are they just a list to check off? Please if you know, tell me. However I found the green star collectibles great to get! You need to collect them to access extra levels in the game and even the boss levels at the end of each world. All these collectibles are quite fun to collect as they all have a little puzzle element to them which I love. The additional Captain Toad and mystery house levels are so great! No wonder why Captain Toad got his own spinoff game, the extra levels are great fun and very clever in their design.
Overall Opinion For someone who has never really clicked with the Mario platforming games, I absolutely loved playing through 3D World. It may be a little easier than the other games in the series but I think it helped me enjoy the game more. Anyone will have a good time playing through this alone or co-op, it will be especially great for kids and parents. There is a lot of content to play through and great fun collectibles to try to collect. This is easily one of the best games on the underrated Wii U system.